Branding is vital. Branding is essential. Branding is basic. Branding builds an incredible value for the company. Contemplating the world today, it is not very difficult to figure out the importance of brands. Products have life cycle. Brands outlive products. Brands govern the psychology of the consumers. It is about the faith and trust that a consumer has on the product’s quality, experience and credibility.
And the award goes to… and I wake up with an interruption missing out on receiving that coveted award. This is exactly what brands probably dream of – the award for being the best in the business. Be it automobiles, cereal, energy drink. We all have our favorites and certain products have a brand associated to it in our personal dictionaries. Amidst the entire hullabaloo that brands have created, the product on offer plays an essential role to keep that image intact unless the brand makes a blunder in terms of the quality of the product.
The first thing that would come to most of our minds when we say ‘energy drink’ would be ‘Red Bull’, but whether Red Bull is the best energy drink in the market at the moment is something that can be debated on.
The brand has made us believe that it is the best with its marketing campaigns and associations to popular sporting events.Perception of consumers is something that makes brands immortal, and this is hard to change. We do have instances where once-upon-a-time big brands failed somewhere, probably in keeping up with the competition or died out on innovation. It is interesting to see these brands make their way back to win hearts and re-establish their trust in consumers (Adage.com 2014).
A personal favorite example is that of Nestle ‘Maggi’ noodles (a famous instant noodles brand in India). A majority of the urban population of India has relied on their beloved ‘savior’ food product. The company has almost captured 80% of India’s instant noodle market. Any brand of noodles is referred to as ‘Maggi’. What Google is to search engines, Maggi is to noodles in India. There were happy ‘Maggi’ moments in every Indian family, but the not-so-happy moment arrived last year. It was in June 2015 that the Government charged the company for carrying unsafe levels of lead in the product. The company destroyed 400 million packets (BBC News 2015). But every single ‘Loyal Maggi Customer’ was still all praises for the product. For them it did not matter what news said against Maggi. It was as if the Government had taken an integral part of the lives of every Maggi noodles loyalist. As they rightly say, nothing lasts forever so neither did the ban. When Maggi noodles finally made a comeback, it was with a loud bang (Forbes.com 2015). It was because of the trust and faith that every customer had on the brand and its product, Maggi noodles was well received, without having to re-brand or rename the product. The brand has never failed to serve its customers, and has always till date lived up to that faith and loyalty. This was the reason why the brand was warmly welcomed and its hiatus was a brief one.
Another possible comeback story in the making could be in the offing for the Automobile Giant Volkswagen. This German manufacturer had created quite a fan base with its loyal customers, being known as a reliable automobile company. This changed late 2015 with the emissions scandal that rocked VW and shocked customers worldwide. For now, VW has offered to buy back nearly 600,000 faulty diesel vehicles and give customers the value that the car would be worth just before the news of the scandal broke out (the Guardian 2016).
It would be interesting to see what other tricks VW have up their sleeve to make a comeback and earn its customers’ trust back. Let’s wait and watch, shall we?
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Adage.com 2014, Having a Better Brand Is Better Than Having a Better Product, retrieved, 18 April 2016, <http://adage.com/article/al-ries/a-brand-a-product/294829/>
BBC News 2015, India court says Maggi noodle ban ‘legally untenable’ – BBC News, retrieved, 19 April 2016, <http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-33901999>
Forbes.com 2015, Forbes Welcome, retrieved, 19 April 2016, <http://www.forbes.com/sites/saritharai/2015/11/09/nestles-maggi-noodles-make-a-comeback-in-india-both-online-and-offline/#26f578de499c>
the Guardian 2016, Volkswagen to buy back some of 600,000 cars that cheat emissions tests, retrieved 20 April 2016, <http://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/apr/20/volkswagen-emissions-scandal-us-government-deal>